With Brook Lopez likely out Tuesday, Andray Blatche to keep getting big minutes

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

No one but the Nets wanted Andray Blatche. Now, he's become a key part of the team's rotation ... and their fourth leading scorer. Zach Harper of CBS Sports says where the Wizards failed, the Nets have succeeded.

Avery Johnson said even if Brook Lopez is cleared to play when he's next evaluated on Monday, it would take a "miracle" for him to play Tuesday vs. the Thunder. Why? Because Johnson likes to have returning players go through at least on practice before they step on the court for real. And notes Stefan Bondy, he's still limping.

So, Andray Blatche is likely to get another start vs. OKC. As Zach Harper of CBS Sports writes, Blatche has been giving the Nets big minutes this season. It proves, Harper writes, the importance of a team's development program.

Harper notes that Blatche's per 36 numbers are the best of his career (and at almost 10 points a game, he is the Nets fourth leading scorer). He also notes that there may very well be some truth in what Blatche said last week about the Wizards lack of development and the Nets' aggressiveness in pushing Blatche. Reclamation projects aren't easy.

Blatche's is a story that reminds us just how important mentors, coaching staffs and the development of a young player are in the NBA. It's why the rookie symposiums and developmental people within an organization mean nearly as much as the character of a player you acquire to your team.

Revisionist history or credit due to Billy King, Avery Johnson, Mario Elie and veteran players like Jerry Stackhouse, Keith Bogans and Reggie Evans? What matters is that Blatche has an opportunity to revitalize his career. As the 26-year-old said last week, "Now I'm in a whole different organization. A different part of my life, that I'm going to be able to succeed in."

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